Faculty and Staff
Donald J. Rose, MD, Attending Orthopaedic Surgeon and Director of the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries, as well as Director of Ambulatory Surgery at the NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases. He is a Clinical Associate Professor at New York University’s School of Medicine and is the Orthopaedic Consultant to numerous dance companies including Alvin Ailey, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Cirque du Soleil, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, STREB and the Joyce Theatre, as well as numerous dance schools including SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance and the Joffrey Ballet School. Dr. Rose has lectured nationally and internationally and written numerous chapters and papers on topics in sports medicine, dance medicine, and arthroscopic surgery. He is on the Editorial Review Board of the Journal of Dance Medicine and Science and the Bulletin of the NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases. Dr. Rose is the 1997 recipient of the prestigious Dance Library of Israel Documents of Dance Award, was honored as the 2002 recipient of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Distinguished Alumnus Award, and received the 2012 UMDNJ Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Distinguished Alumnus Award. He has been listed as a "Top Doctor" by New York Magazine and Castle Connolly.
David S. Weiss, MD,is an orthopaedic surgeon in private practice, specializing in dance medicine. He is Associate Director of the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries at NYU Langone Medical Center, Attending Physician at NYU Langone Medical Center, and Clinical Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at New York University School of Medicine. Dr. Weiss provides orthopaedic care to the Mark Morris Dance Group, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Parsons Dance Company, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, Ballet Hispanico, and The Juilliard School. He served as Orthopaedist for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company until 2011, when the company disbanded. He has served as Orthopaedist for over 40 Broadway and off-Broadway theatrical productions, including The Will Rogers Follies, Guys & Dolls, Miss Saigon, Cats, The Who’s Tommy, Grease, Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, La Cage aux Folles, Monty Python’s Spamalot, Chita Rivera – The Dancer’s Life, Follies, Riverdance on Broadway, Wicked, and The Book of Mormon. For a list of all current productions, please see www.WeissMD.info. Dr. Weiss is a consultant to numerous other dance companies, university dance departments, dance schools, and theatrical productions. In all of these capacities, he works closely with physical therapists, athletic trainers, and acupuncturists who specialize in performing arts medicine. Dr. Weiss is a charter member of the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS) and has served on the Board of Directors, and as President and Vice-President. He presently serves on the IADMS Annual Meeting Program and Continuing Education Committees. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Performing Arts Medicine Association. Dr. Weiss is Deputy Editor of the Journal of Dance Medicine and Science and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Dance Research Foundation, publisher of Ballet Review. He lectures frequently on dance medicine, nationally and internationally. Dr. Weiss was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in 1976, received his BA degree summa cum laude with high honors in Biochemistry and Chemistry from Brandeis University in 1977, and received his MD degree from Yale University School of Medicine in 1981.
Marijeanne Liederbach, PhD, ATC, PT, CSCS,is a physical therapist and certified athletic trainer with a PhD in Biomechanics and Ergonomics. Since 1993 she has been the Administrative Director and Director of Research and Education for the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries, NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases. Prior to her current appointment, Dr. Liederbach headed the Dance Medicine Services for The Joffrey Ballet while serving as Supervisor of Sports Physical Therapy at the Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma at Lenox Hill Hospital and Instructor of Kinesiology at Columbia University. Dr. Liederbach has provided backstage therapy for hundreds of dancers, dance companies and Broadway shows and has authored numerous papers and chapters as well as lectured internationally on topics pertaining to the prevention and care of dance injuries. She is a member of the Editorial Review Board of the Journal of Dance Medicine and Science, the National Advisory Committee for the American Physical Therapy Association's Performing Arts Practice Analysis and the Dance/USA Task force on Dancer Health. She is also an Affiliate Member American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, a Founding Member and former Board Member of the International Association for Dance Medicine and Chair of its Standard Measures Consensus Initiative. Prior to her career in Dance Medicine, Dr. Liederbach danced professionally for many years and worked as a choreographer. Her critically acclaimed work has been shown in Europe and throughout the United States. In April, 2010, Dr. Liederbach received the Dance Library of Israel Hall of Fame Award.
Matthew Diamond, MD, PhD is a rehabilitation medicine physician and integrative medicine specialist who is certified in medical acupuncture and provides holistic care to athletes and performers. Dr. Diamond received his MD and PhD degrees from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and completed his residency training in rehabilitation medicine at the Rusk Institute of NYU. He was appointed as a Fellow in Spine and Sports Medicine at the Hospital for Special Surgery and was invited to join the faculty of the Rusk Institute. Dr. Diamond holds numerous national leadership roles in sports medicine, and his research in dance medicine has been presented at international conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Diamond studied medical acupuncture at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, where his focus was on using a neuroanatomically-based, neurofunctional approach to improve his patients' performance. Dr. Diamond especially enjoys the classical contemporary dance of Graham and Limon, as well as other movement disciplines, including the Alexander Technique.
Joey C. Fernandez, MD, is an internal medicine/sports medicine physician interested in the injuries and medical problems of performing artists. He is Staff Physician at the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries at NYU Langone Medical Center where he practices nonsurgical musculoskeletal medicine. Dr. Fernandez completed his fellowship in primary care sports medicine at Cleveland Clinic. He has provided medical services and event coverage for various professional performing arts companies and athletic teams. Prior to his medical training at SUNY Downstate and his residency at University of Michigan, where he cared for collegiate dancers and conducted dance medicine research, Dr. Fernandez earned his BA in Music from NYU and performed as a vocalist throughout New York City. He also studied dance and performed with the Joffrey Ballet School. Dr. Fernandez continues to enjoy taking dance classes in New York City.
Leigh Heflin, MSc is the program coordinator of education and marketing at the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries at NYU Langone Medical Center, where she is the director of educational outreach programs, including all continuing education courses. Heflin holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, a Masters in Dance Science from the Laban Centre in London, UK, and in 2012 she graduated with distinction from New York University with a Master of Arts in Performance Studies. She has presented at international conferences for dance medicine professionals and dance educators, and regularly presents injury prevention lectures for the dance community. Heflin has also worked as a personal trainer and fitness instructor for the past 10 years and has received 4 national certifications through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, and KettleBell Concepts. She has been a consultant for Dance Spirit, Dance Magazine, Backstage, and other dance publications on topics covering dancer health and fitness. Prior to entering the field of dance science, Heflin danced professionally in contemporary dance companies in New York and California.
Alexandra Pinel is a Medical Office Associate for the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries from Paris, France. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Art History and Dance from the George Washington University in Washington, DC in 2011. Pinel is a member of Movement of the People Dance Company and has showcased her own work in Washington, DC, Santiago, Chile as well as in several New York dance film venues (Dance Film Association, House of Scandinavia). Pinel has most recently choreographed a music video for a chinese rock band, Re-TROS and was a Luther Rice research fellow (2010) and a recipient of the Maida Withers Dance Construction Company Award for innovation in Dance (2011). Pinel is also a Junior Committee member of Dance NYC.
Kristina Todd Nelson is a Medical Office Associate for the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries at NYU Langone Medical Center. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Voice Performance from Brevard College in Brevard, NC in 2003. Nelson has danced professionally in both North Carolina and New York in modern dance and musical theatre. She currently teaches creative movement and ballet at Brooklyn Ballet, Peridance and the 92nd St Y. Nelson is also a certified Pilates Mat Instructor and teaches at Sanctuary Pilates.
Veleda Roehl is a Medical Office Associate for the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries at NYU Langone Medical Center from Ft. Worth, Texas. She is also a movement educator, post partum doula, and professional dancer. She has recently performed with Malia Connor’s Malia Movement Company, Adia Whitaker’s ASE Dance Theatre Collective, receiving a 2011 Isadora Duncan Dance Award, Hugh Masekela at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and in choreographer Millicent Johnnie’s work as a part of Roots Fest and BAM’s Next Wave Festival. Her choreography was featured in New York City Opera’s 100th Anniversary presentation of “Treemonisha.” She is a member of Nia Love and Marjani Forte’s LOVE|FORTE A Collective. Roehl has dedicated her career to the study of dance and the benefits of movement for community and human development. She has coordinated and taught dance and yoga programs for children through adults with and without disabilities in studios, fitness centers, schools, women’s prisons, substance abuse residencies, domestic violence/homeless shelters, public libraries and private sessions for over 10 years.
Leigh Schanfein, MS is a Research Associate at the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries. She received her M.S. degree in kinesiology with a specialization in biomechanics from Purdue University, and her B.S. degree in animal physiology and neuroscience with a minor in dance from the University of California San Diego. As a graduate student, she received multiple awards for her research with dancers including two awards through the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science. Her research has focused on the mechanisms by which humans control balance and how sensory feedback is integrated for the control of posture. Schanfein has taught courses in health, motor development, biomechanics lab, and stress at Purdue University, and is a regular guest instructor and choreographer for dance schools in Indiana, Montana, California, Idaho, and New York. She has trained and performed across the USA and abroad in modern, ballet, and contemporary dance, and currently performs professionally in NYC. Her most recent endeavor is as Artistic Director of Dance for Periapsis Music and Dance, a non-profit designed to eliminate the gap between emerging choreographers and live music by living composers. Schanfein hopes that her work in biomechanics will serve the dance and greater scientific community by contributing to our understanding of not only how we move in response to our environment, but also how our environment trains us to move.
Alison Deleget, MS, ATC,attended Indiana University on scholarship as a ballet major before transitioning into athletic training. She completed both Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Athletic Training at Indiana University, and served as the Head Athletic Trainer for the Indiana University Ballet Theatre during her graduate studies. She is also a certified Pilates instructor through the Pilates Method Alliance, and is a certified Pilates rehabilitation specialist through Polestar Education. Deleget currently works for the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries at NYU Langone Medical Center, providing backstage athletic training services for various Broadway shows and elite dance companies in New York. She has lectured at international dance medicine conferences to her peers and also provides injury prevention assessments and lectures for the dance community at large. Deleget is on faculty at Dance Theatre of Harlem serving both as the on-site athletic trainer and anatomy instructor for the Ensemble Company.
Faye E. Dilgen, PT, DPT, is the Supervisor of Dance Physical Therapy at the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries, NYU Langone Medical Center. Dr. Dilgen specializes in manual therapy, is Pilates mat certified and provides rehabilitation and functional training for performing artists. She has treated dancers from a variety of companies and schools for over 20 years including Merce Cunningham Dance Company and Molissa Fenley and has developed curricula for the Feld Ballet School and Dance Theatre of Harlem. Dr. Dilgen, received her graduate PT education and DPT from Long Island University, where she has served on faculty as Adjunct Professor of Cardiopulmonary Function. Dr. Dilgen has also served on faculty at College of Staten Island and was a PhD candidate in Pathokinesiology at New York University. Dr. Dilgen has been section editor for the Practical Applications column for the Journal of Dance Medicine and Science. She has presented her research at a number of professional dance medicine venues.
Heather Heineman, PT, DPT, holds a Dual Bachelor of Arts from University of Texas Austin in Anthropology and Archaeology, a Master of Arts from New York University in Anthropological Archaeology and graduated with honors from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy. Dr. Heineman has been an instructor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Medicine and Lotus College of Yoga as well as having been a yoga instructor at Laughing Lotus Yoga Center. Dr. Heineman has studied ballet, modern, contemporary dance and aerial arts, and has performed in New York City.
Johann Howard, DPT, received his doctorate in physical therapy from Mercy College. He has been working with dancers since 1998. Previous to physical therapy, Johann was a licensed massage therapist running his own practice specializing in the treatment of dance injuries. He holds mastery level medical massage certificates in both the hip and shoulder. He is also certified in kineseotaping and is currently finishing his certification in the Maitland technique. He has worked with Mark Morris, the Rockettes, Momix, New York City Ballet, among many others. Johann is also an avid martial artist having studied kung fu for 20 years and sabre fencing for 6 years. He is proud to be on the team at Harkness.
Erika Kalkan, PT, DPT, graduated from Temple University, a nationally recognized program of excellence. Dr. Kalkan is a physical therapist for the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries. She has worked backstage at numerous Broadway productions and has provided physical therapy services for the Paul Taylor Dance Company. Prior to her physical therapy education, Dr. Kalkan was a modern dancer. Being awarded the “Promising Artist Scholarship”, she attended the University of the Arts and graduated with a B.F.A. in modern dance performance with honors. With over twenty years of dance training and performance experience with a focus of various styles of jazz and modern dance techniques, she has had the opportunity to perform in local venues in New York City and Philadelphia as well as with the dance company, Eleone Dance Theater.
Lauren Kreha, ATC, graduated from Grand Valley State University with a degree in Athletic Training in 2010. She is on staff at the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries at NYU Langone Medical Center as a Clinical Specialist, emergency management liaison, and on-site Certified Athletic Trainer for SUNY Purchase Dance Conservatory. Kreha provides backstage coverage for Broadway shows and dance companies in New York City as well as injury prevention assessments and educational lectures to the dance community. Her research interests lie in concussion management in the dancer and performing arts population and is a member of NYU's Concussion Center Research Sub-Committee. Kreha has been a consultant for Pointe Magazine, Dance Teacher Magazine, and featured in the NATA News. Kreha is an active member of District 2 of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association as well as a runner, pianist, and vocalist.
Elisa LaBelle, PT, MSPT is a physical therapist at the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries at NYU Langone Medical Center. She holds a Bachelor of Dance Arts from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a Master of Science in Physical Therapy from Central Michigan University. LaBelle completed a post-professional clinical residency in orthopedic physical therapy at NYU in August 2013, the first program of its kind in the New York-metropolitan area. As a member of the inaugural class of residents, she has been mentored by top physical therapists and physicians from the tri-state area and around the country. LaBelle holds Pilates mat and equipment certifications from the Kane School of Core Integration, NYC, and brings over twenty years’ experience in dance studies, performance, and education to her practice.
Yuriko Nabeta, PT, MPT, OCS is currently a physical therapist at the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries. Nabeta received her Master’s degree in Physical Therapy from The City University of New York, Hunter College, where she also completed her BA in psychology with a minor in dance. While pursuing her Masters, Nabeta was awarded the Ayers-Selman Founders scholarship from the Physical Therapy Department. Before coming to the U.S., Nabeta competed in numerous national dance competitions in Japan. In addition, Nabeta also works part time in a private clinic in Manhattan where she performs outreach and offers physical therapy to underserved artists, including foreign dancers and performers.
Megan Richardson, MS, ATC, is a certified athletic trainer (AT) specializing in manual therapy, Pilates-based rehabilitation and functional training for performing artists. Richardson is on staff at the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries at NYU Langone Medical Center and PT Plus, P.C. She has provided backstage coverage to numerous dance companies and Broadway shows. Richardson has presented on issues related to dancer health and rehabilitation both nationally and internationally. Currently she sits on the Development Committee of the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science and is a founding member of the Performing Arts Work Group of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. Richardson attended George Washington University on scholarship for dance, where she received her undergraduate degree in Athletic Training. She earned a Master of Science in Kinesiology at Indiana University while serving as the primary AT for the Indiana University Ballet Theatre. Richardson has performed with numerous modern dance groups in both New York City and Washington, DC.
Emily Sandow, PT, DPT, is a physical therapist at the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries. She also provides on-site physical therapy services to many dance companies and Broadway shows. Dr. Sandow holds an undergraduate degree from New York University in Mathematics, graduated with honors from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons with a Master of Science in Physical Therapy, and completed her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Columbia. She received the Columbia University faculty award for "Outstanding Student Research". Dr. Sandow has presented original dance-related biomechanics research at dance medicine and physical therapy conferences. She has been a consultant and model for Dance Teacher Magazine. Dr. Sandow trained in ballet and modern dance at the High School of Performing Arts and the School of American Ballet, and has performed in New York City.
Suzanne Semanson, PT, DPT received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Northwestern University in Chicago, IL. She brings over twenty years experience in movement-related arts including dance, martial arts and yoga to her specialty as a dance medicine physical therapist. Her dance training includes the Cecchetti Method of ballet under the direction of Rose Marie Floyd. She has taught ballet and contemporary dance and performed throughout Michigan, Chicago and New York City. She received her B.S. in biological anthropology while dancing at the University of Michigan. Since becoming a dance medicine physical therapist, Dr. Semanson has provided backstage physical therapy care to several Broadway productions and dance companies in New York City. In addition to working at the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries, she serves as an assistant clinical instructor in the Doctorate Physical Therapy program at Columbia University.
Marshall Hagins, PhD, PT, attended North Carolina School for the Arts as a ballet major before moving to New York where he danced both on and off-Broadway. Prior to accepting his current appointment at the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries, he served as company physical therapist for the White Oak Dance Project. Dr. Hagins has published original works on clinical topics in dance medicine and has presented numerous papers before the International Association for Dance Medicine Science. He is currently an Associate Professor with the Division of Physical Therapy at Long Island University and is the physical therapy consultant for the Mark Morris Dance Group. Dr. Hagins also owns a small private practice in the Mark Morris Dance Group Center called Brooklyn Arts Physical Therapy.
Marc Hunter-Hall, MPT, received a BFA in dance from Point Park University and a BA in music from Indiana University of Pennsylvania before coming to New York. Hall spent 12 years performing in musical theatre including the Broadway production of Cats and the national tour of Oklahoma! In 1997, Hall graduated Summa Cum Laude from Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago with a Master of Physical Therapy, and received the 1997 Award for Clinical Excellence. He has served as Adjunct Instructor of Kinesiology at Columbia University and as Adjunct Professor with the Division of Physical Therapy at Long Island University. Hall specializes in manual therapy and Pilates-based rehabilitation and is a clinical educator at the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries. He is the senior physical therapist at PT Plus, P.C. in City Center and also owns a small practice, Encore Physical Therapy, specializing in providing on-site care for the Broadway community.